Big League Stew

Justin Verlander's MRI shows no structural damage, won't go on DL

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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The Detroit Tigers' much-heralded three Cy Young starting rotation was in limbo after Justin Verlander was rocked Monday night by the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up four earned runs in the first inning, then leaving the game with a sore shoulder.

After an MRI on Tuesday, Verlander and the Tigers got "the best news." Verlander's right shoulder is inflamed, but there's no structural damage and no indication that Verlander will need to visit the disabled list.

MLB.com's Jason Beck has specifics on the MRI results:

An MRI exam on Verlander’s sore shoulder revealed inflammation and what head athletic trainer Kevin Rand called “normal wear and tear” from the pitches and innings built up over the years, but nothing major. It was essentially the best-case scenario after Verlander left Monday’s game against the Pirates after one inning with soreness in his shoulder.

“Really, there was no major structural damage,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “At this point, we don’t expect him to go on the DL.”

Verlander is expected to miss his next turn in the rotation Sunday against the Mariners, but Rand said they’re hopeful of having him ready for next week’s road trip to Tampa Bay and Minnesota.

“I would say it’s the best news that we were expecting,” Rand said.

Verlander is scheduled to get another evaluation from team physician Dr. Stephen Lemos on Wednesday to determine a treatment plan, likely a combination of rest and medication.

This still leaves the question: What's wrong with Justin Verlander? The former Tigers ace hasn't been himself this season and shoulder damage would have helped explain that. Verlander is 5-8 since May 25 with a 5.63 ERA, well above his career mark of 3.52. Maybe rest and medication will do the trick for Verlander.

If not, people from Detroit to California will still be wondering what's the matter with Verlander.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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